29 September, 2006

Straggle between blogging software giants

Hello all.
Today I want to get back to my previous post about blogging software and blogging services. I have promised that soon I'll announce who has won (IMHO) in this battle for users. As you remember (if you don't you can recollect here) I was talking about 3 competitors: BlogJet, Windows Live Writer and www.writely.com (Google's service). I don't know how I forgot about Microsoft Word 2007 :). Microsoft has added an ability to blog directly from Word. Honestly saying I like it pretty much.
Well, who is the winner? I guess it is Windows Live Writer!!! You will ask why. Because it is FREE, easy to use and convenient. It is a standalone application thus we don't need to go to the web and be tied to the Internet connection speed. In spite of the speed of www.writely.com and my Internet connection I still didn't used to use it as a text processor. Who knows? Maybe sooner or later things will change but for now my decision is Windows Live writer.
But! But one thing has disappointed me. Recently Microsoft released an updated version of Windows Live Writer and said that support of Blogger Beta has been added. That made me excited ... but not for long :(. I have downloaded an updated version, installed it and discovered that it is not completely true. First, I had to get my BlogId number to be able to work with my blog. For me it was not a hard task.

For example JCHeng in his blog post "Blogger Beta Workaround" says that you should navigate in browser to your blog, view source and find blogID string.

That's easy. But you can also do it in other way. Just navigate to your blog and move your cursor to "New Post" link and in the status bar you will see the link url which has your blogID at the end. So you simply copy that link (right click an url and select 'copy' command from the context menu) and then insert it wherever you need and remove everything unnecessary. That's all! Second, I had to change the beginning of the string (url) from "http://www.blogger.com" to "http://beta.blogger.com". Ok, a piece of cake. But all these movement didn't help :(. I continued reciving errors.
Fortunately one of the visitors of JCHeng's blog left a very useful comment. He gave a link to another workaround which fixed an issue. The problem was in the regional settings. If you want Windows Live Writer to work correctly you should change the regional settings to English (United States). Thanks SiD. This method works but it is not acceptable for me. Therefore all I have to do is wait when another new version of Windows Live Writer will be released. Hope it won't take long!

19 September, 2006

Fresh hotfix for BDS 2006

You probably know about hotfixes 1-6? Well, new hotfixes 7-9 for Borland Developer Studio 2006 has been released and available for download here. Detailed description of the hotfixes can be found here.

14 September, 2006

Delphi extensions (experts)

Hello world! Probably favorite phrase of most programmers :) Today I want to tell you about a very useful extension for Delphi.

Personally I don't like to use extensions at all. The main reason is "functional overflow". Seems to me that it is hard to find in Internet an experts package containing only necessary functionality which you will use regularly. I don't want to say that all (or almost all) the experts are useless! No! There are a lot of extremely useful experts but they are often not free.

Want proves? Well, no problems!

Visual Forms - is a thumbnail viewer for the forms in your project. Greatly useful and especially for large projects which contain large amount of forms but :( not free. It costs 35 EUROS. Expensive as for me. This expert has only required features and there are no such which will never be used.

GExperts - a very huge Delphi experts package, free but contain some useless features. I am wondering how much time someone should spend before he will be able to use all of them efficiently? I think that a lot. Once again I don't want to say that this package is bad I am just trying to say that user should have a way to install only those experts which he consider useful.

Well, now let's get back to the experts package which I wished to describe to you. It is DDevExtensions Delphi/BCB/BDS IDE plugin. This plugin is free and has only useful features (IMHO). Go and try it! I should say that when I saw it for the first time on the home page I thought that this expert is absolutely useless because the new tool palette layout in BDS is very convenient. But I was wrong. I understood it after I tried DDevExtensions.

have a couple idea concerning creation of experts for Delphi. Hope you will see the realization very soon. Keep in touch!

13 September, 2006

Building ADO ConnectionString

Last night I was looking for a way of building a ConnectionString for TAdoConnection from Delphi code and having visited section of "Databases" of a Vingrad forum found the solution. It turned out that it could be easily done! All you need to do is just include AdoConEd unit call EditConnectionString function and send TAdoConnection object as a parameter. Further all is simple. A standard window for building a ConnectionString will be shown in which you will do everything as usual.
Thus deploying applications that use ADO connections became much easier!

Code sample:

  if EditConnectionString(DataModule1.adoconPETS) then
mmConnString.Text := DataModule1.adoconPETS.ConnectionString;
end; // if
PS: this post has been written with the help of www.writely.com

07 September, 2006

Delphi 7 Help for BDS expert

If you use Delphi 2005/2006 and want to use an old Delphi 7 help files (or any other help files) then you need to download updated BDS expert (source code included) 15.4 K. After install you can use 3 different help files by pressing Ctrl-F1, Alt-F1 or Shift-F1.

PS: this post has been written in Microsoft Live Writer.